Sunday, February 24, 2019

Winter Openings at OMA and the 1st Encinitas Art Night

by Patricia Frischer

Our Saturday night took us up and down the north coast of San Diego County after a lovely day and NO RAIN!  We started in Encinitas with the first of the new Encinitas Art Night series.I really look forward to seeing the art but I always seem to  forget when I go to openings that there will be lots of people.   With so many friends and colleagues and lots of connections to make and renew,  it is a valuable experience.  Yes, the people get in the way of the art,  but we stayed late at the museum to have a clear view of the images to take the photos you see below. 

We celebrated OMA's  opening of VALYA: SHE, Matthew Barnes: Painter of the Night, and San Diego Surreal  as well as National Watercolor Society, Southern California Inspirations, Past and Present.

VALYA: SHE  Valya has taken her soft sculptures to a new level with this massive installation that fills the whole new ground floor gallery at OMA. With the powerful bright red color and a reflective mirror wall that double the effect, we are fascinated with the patterns and textures she has created. Valya believes, "Art is the uniting thread of life that connects different cultures and overcomes monstrous socio-political constructs."  I am not sure about that last part, but sitting here writing during the academy awards on TV,  I certainly believe that art does unite us. Of course if I was watching Miss America, I would also hope for world peace! 


San Diego Surreal  Finding Surreal artist in San Diego is a master feat of organization. Congratulation Susan M. Anderson, the curator. There are 50 artists from the beginning of the 20th century until now. I did not know that all the following artists lived in California as refugees from WWII: Salvador Dali, Max Ernst, Stanley William Hayter, Charles Howard, Gordon Onslow Ford, Wolfgang Paalen, and Man Ray. but they do enrich the show and put a context to some of the more contemporary artists.  I have made a very small selection of some of the works  that drew my attention mainly from the 21st century. Yes, it might stretch the definition of surreal, but what is art if not ever changing. 

Hugo Crosthwaite. Tom Noel tells us “As some of you may already have heard, Hugo Crosthwaite is undergoing treatment in Mexico for stage three testicular cancer. His prognosis is not good but he is fighting this with all his strength.  A GoFundMe Hugo page has been set up for his medical expenses, he has no insurance. Please help if you can. Let Hugo know he is not facing this dark battle alone” $26,969  has already been raised! 

Allison Schulnik

de la Torre brothers

de la Torre brothers plus a mugging Irene de Watteville

Ethel Greene - a true surrealist and I had not seen this one before so that was thrilling. 

Jen Trute - a reminder of this fine artist who left us too soon.

Marianela de la Hoz

Harry Sternberg

Mark Ryden 

National Watercolor Society, Southern California Inspirations, Past and Present  I have chosen just one subject, water, to demonstrate how no matter was the year of the work, watercolor is timeless. But there was a variety of subjects and techniques demonstrated here and all at a very high quality of technique.

James Patrick, 1938

Shuang Li, 2013

Nancy Swan, 2008

Matthew Barnes: Painter of the Night is another artist new to me. These are strong works, slightly macabre and this one almost fits into the surrealist category with those window like eyes.

Matthew Barnes

Encinitas is celebrating all it wonderful art events by hosting Encinitas Art Night four times a year and sat Feb 23 was the first of these series in 2019. Thanks to Jim Gilliam for this effort which will be ongoing. 

At the Library, the works in a series of Lightsculptures by William Leslie and Alessandra Colfi was as always impressive. Those in the lobby had programmable changing colors of lights.   Dean Andrews showed long horizontal color field paintings and  Carol Lang has small woven sculptures in the display boxes. 

William Leslie and Alessandra Colfi

Dean Andrews

Carol Lang

Is was a big evening from the south of North County to the North but I want to give a shot out to other artists in Encinitas: at the Community Center artists Cherie Gollaher, Kim Simas and Margot Villa, at the Civic Center artists Kelsey Overstreet and Lily Pourat and at Lux Institute Courtney Mattison. Read out separate report: Courtney Mattison at Lux Art Institute

Upcoming Art Nights will take place on Saturdays, 6-9pm on April 6, June 1, August 3, October 5 and November 23, 2019.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Courtney Mattison at Lux Art Institute

By Patricia Frischer

Courtney Mattison on show through Saturday, March 23, 2019 at Lux Art Institute where she was artist in residence. 

The bleaching of the coral reefs was brought to my attention during the DNA of Creativity project Sea Change: Act. This occurs when coral die and they lose that rapture of the deep color. Courtney Mattison has taken that transition and arranged it in huge spirals shapes that function like wall reliefs  at the installation at the Lux Art Institute. These magical ceramic composition are inspired by corals shapes but are not duplicates but instead expressionist interpretations of those creatures under the sea. And the color which is dampened down from the florescent reality, saves these works from looking too Disney. 

The works are obviously well constructed, with dynamic arrangements of the elements but I think it is the honestly and and genuine concern for the state of endangered corals that gives this art its heart.  

The Fossil Fuel series shows corals fighting their way back by covering oil drums,and oil cans. 

Sea Changes!

Detail from above

The following series is called Hope Spots and we can dream that the corals will come back someday. 

Visit Courtney Mattison's website to see more of this glorious art work. 

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Pause/Play Fleet Science Center

By Patricia Frischer

From Feb 15 to Sept 2, 2019
"Pause|Play is the first exhibition of this magnitude that is developed by the Fleet Science Center in over 20 years," said Paul Siboroski, Exhibits Director at the Fleet Science Center. "This exhibition will definitely create a one-of-a-kind experience for our visitors."

I could not find too much science or too much creativity in this collection of slides, merry-go-rounds, see saws, mazes and ball pools but what fun to see the little ones go beserk like sugar injected trolls. And I think the adults were having just as much fun, as all the equipment was sturdy enough for them to use. 

This exhibition is more like an indoor playground than a one of a kind experience. Very timely as the rain comes down day after day in San Diego which is so unusual. So if you have small children or want to put on a young at heart adult party, now is the time to go to the Fleet. 

Lonnie Hewitt: Young at Heart ALWAYS on my favorite and the most inventive gadget, a spinning top chair. Nope, I did not try it out as ass over tits is not my best angle but Lonnie was a marvel

Monday, February 4, 2019

Beyond Blue – Mavi – Ma Vie: Irene de Watteville and Beliz Iristay at the Athenaeum

Irene de Watteville and Beliz Iristay

by Patricia Frischer

Beyond Blue – Mavi – Ma Vie:  Irene de Watteville and Beliz Iristay Jan 12 to March 9, 2019 at The Athenaeum Music and Arts Library in La Jolla. Jan 11 to March 9, 2019.

Irene de Watteville Knitting Crab 

Irene de Watteville  and Erika Tori at the lecture for the SDMA Committee

Irene de Watteville likes to say she is exploring the absurd. This is certainly true, but it is also her way to present contradictions: a knitting crab or a bunny pushing an egg back into a chicken. This exhibition explores some of the contradictions and  contrasts between the French de Watteville and the Turkish Beliz Iristay, but it also pulls the two artists together in a wonderful joint table of inedible delights. I think it is that push and pull that makes the show so exciting. And it is certainly the attention to details that makes you stay to look and look and look.

Irene de Watteville 

Mavi is Turkish for Blue and Ma Vie is French for My Life and together they become a life in blue which is such an important color in the glazes for ceramics for both countries. It is ceramics that is the major tie for these artists. de Watteville works freehand to make her enchanting characters. Even her vegetables seems to have personalities. Iristay is a master mold maker and her duplications of shapes and forms reinforced the strength of patterns which is so important in Turkish graphics.

Beliz Iristay

Beliz Iristay

Beliz Iristay

Beliz Iristay

Irene de Watteville 

Beliz Iristay presents political and moral messages in most of her work. Guns, emigrants, dictators, coming of age, rebirth, and one large tryptic titled “Where is He?” that I think refers to God.   Irene de Watteville actually assumes the role of God when she creates all she sees in her minds eye. She is not telling stories and when asked why dead bees with a series of three apples, she replies, “Why not.” Of course you can use your own imagination and create whatever fantasies you want. But for Ms. de Watteville, the juxtaposition of incongruous things is sufficient reason for existence.

Beliz Iristay

Irene de Watteville 

Irene de Watteville 

Beliz Iristay

Both artists have taken advantage of happy accidents…a crack in plate can be gold plated or filled with light. Both artists can create great details using slips and glazes and fine brushes. Porcelain and clay paper is preferred by de Watteville, the earth of her home in Mexican mixed with a variety of chemicals for Iristay. Both are as authentic as they possibly can be with the history of their mediums.

Irene de Watteville 

Details from the Ludicrous Festum
Beliz Iristay

Irene de Watteville and Beliz Iristay centerpiece detail

Irene de Watteville 

Irene de Watteville and Beliz Iristay

 Beliz Iristay

The artists discussed the work over the course of a year and a half and used texting to co-create the centerpiece of the grand table. When they finally brought all their efforts together at the Athenaeum and saw how it could shine under the arrangement of Stephanie Scanga, there was spontaneous jumping and dancing with glee. Every piece in this exhibition is unique and even when the grand center piece of the show, Ludicrous Festum is shown elsewhere, it will never be the same. Go and glory in the colliding of two worlds and see the crazy, funny, intriguing land of Irene de Watteville and Beliz Iristay

Irene de Watteville 

Irene de Watteville 

Irene de Watteville 

Irene de Watteville 

Irene de Watteville 

Irene de Watteville, detail